Keynote: Jamie Taylor


Current Position

Manager of Knowledge Graph Schema Team at Google

Applied semantics: beyond the catalog

A decade ago a number of semantic catalogs started appearing.  These catalogs gave identifiers to things, assigned them categories and asserted facts about them.  Dubbed knowledge graphs, the intent is to describe the world in a machine readable way.

These catalogs have proved incredibly useful, allowing publishers to organize their content management systems, powering machines that can win game shows and allowing search engines to guide users by interpreting their queries as being about “things not strings.”

While useful, these catalogs are semantically limited.  The connections entities participate in are sparse, requiring human understanding when decoding relationships and categorical membership.  Entities are frequently identified by lucky linguistic matches rather than constraints against semantic intent.

If machines are to understand our world and react intelligently to requests about it, knowledge graphs need to grow beyond catalogs, encoding things which stretch the notion of “fact” and act as semantic APIs for the real world.


Jamie manages the Schema Team for Google’s Knowledge Graph. The team’s responsibilities include extending KG’s underlying semantic representation, growing coverage of the ontology and enforcing semantic policy. 

He joined Google following the acquisition of Metaweb Technologies where he was the Minister of Information, helping organize data in Freebase and evangelizing semantic representation to web developers.

Prior to Metaweb, Jamie worked in enterprise software as CTO of Determine Software and before that started one of the first ISPs in San Francisco.

He is co-author of the O’Reilly book, “Programming the Semantic Web.”

Jamie has a PhD from Harvard University and earned his bachelor’s degree from Colorado College, where he graduated magna cum laude.